Previously ranked as one of the most likable stars in Hollywood, Will Smith‘s reputation has been seriously damaged by the now-viral Oscars slap, according to new Q Scores. During the 94th Academy Awards this past March, one of the most infamous moments in Oscars history occurred when Smith stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock in response to a G.I. Jane joke the comedian made about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia. Afterward, Smith returned to his seat and shouted at Rock, “keep my wife’s name out of your f–ing mouth!“
Later on in the ceremony, Smith won the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard and during his acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy, but not Rock, for his actions. After a few days of reflection, Smith issued a formal apology to Rock and resigned from the Academy,. The board later took action by banning Smith from the Oscars for the next 10 years. Late last month, after further reflection, Smith posted a 5-minute video apologizing again to Rock and everyone affected by his actions.
Despite multiple attempts at reconciliation, Smith’s reputation has been severely damaged by the Oscars slap, according to new Q Scores obtained by Variety. Before the incident, Smith ranked among the most beloved actors in Hollywood, alongside the likes of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Following the slap, Smith’s positive Q Score rating plummeted from a 39 to 24, meaning that now only 24 percent of those surveyed have a positive opinion of Smith.
Q Scores have long been the industry standard for quantifying celebrities’ star power and appeal, which recently played a major role during the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial when determining if either party was responsible for damaging the other’s reputation. In Smith’s case, his Q Scores taking a nosedive after March clearly suggests his previously upstanding reputation was severely damaged by the Oscars outburst. This, in turn, has the potential to negatively affect his acting career, which already appears to be the case.
Four months later, the impact of the Oscars slap is still lingering over Smith. Many of his projects, such as Emancipation, I Am Legend 2, and Bad Boys 4 have effectively been paused for the time being as studios weigh the optics of collaborating with Smith. It remains to be seen if Smith’s multiple apologies mitigate the damage to his reputation. Even if they move the needle incrementally, Will Smith still has a long road ahead of him to restore his previously stellar reputation.